Philly parents guilty of third-dregree murder in starvation, abuse of 6-year-old
A South Philadelphia woman was convicted Friday of third-degree murder and other offenses in the beating and starvation death of her 6-year-old son in March.
Khalil Wimes died after his mother struck him in the head. He weighed less than 30 pounds and was covered with scars and bruises accrued over three years.
The boy was routinely beaten with a belt or electric cord for vomiting, a persistent problem for which he never received medical attention.
Latiff Hadi, Khalil's' father, also was convicted Friday of third-degree murder.
Following the verdict, First Assistant District Attorney Edward McCann said he was disappointed that Tina Cuffie was not convicted of first-degree murder, noting that he had "never heard more barbaric testimony."
"It's as bad as it gets as far as I'm concerned in terms of child abuse," said McCann. "And, for me, as I said in the courtroom today and other times, the most haunting thing for me will be that this child did not have to die this way."
Within a week of his birth, Khalil was sent to live with a relative.
He was returned to his biological parents three years later, and his health quickly began to decline.
LaReine Nixon, who consider Khalil her grandson, has said the child was healthy while he was in her daughter's care. She too was not pleased with Friday's verdict.
"We all miss him," said a teary-eyed Nixon.
Cuffie's lawyer, Michael Farrell, said that he wasn't "unhappy" with the verdict.
Khalil's parents also were convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.
Sentencing for Cuffie and Hadi has been scheduled for Nov.26.
The two could each potentially serve up to nearly 70 years behind bars.
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